Chaos Attraction

A Question of Nerds

2019-08-25, 8:53 a.m.

I went on a birthday trip with/for Dawn, Loretta, and Ron today. They wanted to go to the computer museum in Mountain View, which ended up being well worth seeing. I liked the games and Palm Pilot exhibits in the museum proper, along with a hilarious giant computer designed for recipes only that they attempted to sell in the Neiman-Marcus catalog and nobody bought even though they’d throw in a free apron and two weeks of programming lessons. I also LOL’d at (a) Seymour Cray saying they hire slender women (because it’s okay to discriminate!) to hook up the billions of wires in a Cray computer in a very tight space for six months at a time, and (b) every time I found any woman in any photo (not until around section 10-11, I believe), and I finally found a PoC woman at the end-it’s SO WHITE GUY there. Like, geez, such a sausagefest.

I enjoyed the brief Ada Lovelace exhibit in the back, along with the self driving car exhibit and a wild mix of things on the left hand side, including frog games, Photoshop tips, car crash models, and World of Warcraft. I posed for dirty photos with a crash test dummy and this pleased me mightily.

After that we went to the Macaroni Grill because Dawn hadn’t been to one in a while. Well, that restaurant was having A Day, and by that I mean, a bad one. Now we were in there around 3-ish on a Sunday so the joint was in no way busy, but they were apparently incredibly short staffed and we didn’t have the best waitress either. Let’s categorize what went wrong here:

(a) No silverware to be found anywhere, most of the tables are still a big ol’ mess.
(b) We’re warned it will take twice as long to get the food (shoulda been a hint).
(c) They were out of various foods and the kitchen was backed up
(d) Loretta ordered soup and she said it was ice cold. The waitress was all “They just made it” and while presumably someone operated a microwave back there to warm it a little, she had a teaspoon by the time it came back.
(e) She said the coffee was lukewarm too.
(f) Someone spilled tomato sauce all over the floor and it splattered on me (thankfully by that point we’d finally gotten napkins and it did miss my knitting). No notice or apologies there.
(g) Nobody, but nobody, tried to clean up the tomato sauce on the floor the entire time we were there.
(h) Or the water that was spilled 5 minutes later in the same spot.
(i) This was one of those restaurants that has paper on the tables and crayons (in this case, one blue and two red ones). Ron started writing a list of what was going wrong on the table in crayon.

The food (other than Loretta’s liquids) was fine, so there’s that, but it was quite a comedy of errors. Ron started moaning and twiddling his thumbs and I brought up the line from When Harry Met Sally: “I’ll just stay up and moan.” I told him that at this point the meal was for comedy and he should keep his list.

Ron also informed us that his eye doctor told him he’s blind and shouldn’t be driving. “Then how did I get here?” he said. Dawn drove the rest of the trip after this.

When Ron brought up the idea of dessert, I was all, “no, do not have dessert here, they’re having enough problems as it is.” We also made sure we had exact change so we didn’t have to ask for more help with anything.

However, for dessert I was all, “I wish we could go to Vampire Penguin,” then I thought “hey, I was looking at their website the other day, they have some in the Bay Area now,” and sure ‘nuff, there was one 2.7 miles away, so we went there and I bought the dessert. It was a bit of a weird VP compared to the ones in my area because they had about 12 standards VP shaved snow desserts (no customization options) and then the rest of the menu was milk tea and egg puffs.

I am happy to report that Ron ended up liking shaved snow, even if he called it “weird” a bunch of times. He kept eating it, kept encouraging Dawn to eat mine (we ordered the same thing) and said he’d come along when we go next time.

Loretta and I also had a very odd conversation with Ron while Dawn was in the bathroom. I was wearing my Nerd Princess shirt to go to the computer museum and he noticed it and said that I am not a nerd. Loretta and I were all “been wearing glasses since I was little, everyone hated me growing up, YES, WE’RE NERDS” to this and Ron was all “I’ve never thought of a woman wearing glasses as a nerd. I don’t discriminate.” Later that night he tells me, “YOU ARE NOT A NERD!” To which Dawn and I were all, so how do you define nerd then? and he says, “A computer idiot.” I’m all, uh, actually nerds are good with computers so that’s the dead opposite, and also, you know who’s a nerd? People who go to computer museums. He threw up his hand at that one but mostly stuck to his point.

We ended up taking forever to get home, mostly because Dawn decided to get off at my hometown exit to duck the horrendous leaving-the-South-Bay traffic and then was all, hey, we could go by your house since I said this was the route we take to go back to Mom’s. So we drove by the house but did not try to see if Mom was in--it’s a Sunday night so I assume she was off with Roger-and then Dawn drove through town and I gave her the tour (“here’s the sex toy shop, right on Main Street! Because we’re classy!”) and tortured Ron by pointing out all the craft stores.

Dawn elected to take the loooooooooong route back on I-5 through Sacramento, which was kind of a slog, but I managed to finish my relatively dull book I hadn’t figured I’d finish today and nearly finished the leggings I’m working on, so there’s that. Got home after 9.

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